Lighting up the district BD:is LIT 2023 programme announced

Article dated Friday Oct 20, 2023 at 12:20 PM

The full programme for this year’s BD:is LIT Festival has been announced, including a fabulous weekend of activity in Bradford city centre on 3 and 4 November, as well as details of illuminations taking place across the district.

Bradford District comes to life this autumn, as we celebrate the return of BD:is LIT to the district with an exciting range of hyper local activations and the return of the bi-annual unmissable light spectacular.

On 3 and 4 November, Bradford’s city centre will host BD:is LIT, a light festival with illuminating sculptures and performance art that celebrate Bradford’s rich cultural heritage and architecture.

The festival weekend will showcase 25 fun, playful and interactive experiences that will animate the city, designed by local, national and international artists. From bespoke projections to inflatable parades, and circus fire performances; this free, family-friendly festival offers something for all members of the family across Bonfire Night weekend.

Some of the incredible experiences and light installations include:

  • The return of Colour Project’s incredible projection mapping piece Luminarium, bringing to life Bradford’s City Hall and celebrating 150 years of the iconic building.
  • Audiences will be able to experience City Hall like never before, with Rosie Freeman’s Hearth – taking over the Civic entrance of the building with an audio experience; telling stories and tales of the buildings past and present (ticketed event, pre-booking recommended).
  • Internationally acclaimed PictoFacto will bring the streets of the city centre alive with Lampadophores – large inflatable light structures that will parade through the streets spreading love and light.
  • Don't miss your chance to see City Park like never before, as giant bubbles appear across the Mirror Pool, created by artists Atlier Sisu. Deepa Mann-Kler’s Illuminated Sheep will also take over nearby green spaces, bringing our rural life into the urban landscape.
  • Bradford’s acclaimed theatre company Common Wealth will be at Bradford College, presenting a new performance and installation; Fast, Fast, Slow. A unique experience exploring fast fashion and its impact on the environment.
  • Theatre in the Mill at the University of Bradford will present a range of experiences including newly commissioned Cloud Songs by artist Shabina Aslam. Alongside this, the programme will feature Salt Eaters a site specific multi-sensory experience by Mez Galaria and Wish You Were Here a series of VR bicycle experiences featuring binaural sound technologies, photography, and poetry, immersing you in new worlds.

This year’s festival has 9 UK premieres and 21 installations that can only be experienced in Bradford this Autumn. So don’t miss out!

Beyond the main festival weekend, Bradford Council, alongside Bradford 2025, The Leap and The National Science and Media Museum, have commissioned 10 light projects to illuminate areas across the district with the aim of bringing joy and light to communities through the darker months of 2023.

Throughout October and November people can experience the district-wide BD:is LIT activities, some of which include:

  • Lister Park Lantern Parade by Cecil Green Arts will take place on Friday 27 October. Illuminating the iconic park with wonderfully designed puppets and lanterns by Cecil Green Arts and local communities.
  • Neon the Night by United Art Project will deliver a range of workshops in Peel Park that will shine a light on the park on the weekend of 3 November.
  • The Wall of Peace created by artist Shiraz Ali will bring to life Laisterdyke Library in BD3, spreading peace and light over October and November.
  • A Winter Wonderland will appear across East Bowling and the wider BD4 communities as George Taylor works with local communities to light up windows, shops and community spaces over the weekend of 11 November.
  • Letty McHugh brings Joy In Unexpected Places to Keighley, celebrating the often overlooked beauty of Keighley and capturing the spirit of the people of the district.
  • Shipley will see a range of unique works pop up during November including Dr Rob Eagle presenting Walk This Way, a site-specific sound and light installation for Shipley Market, whilst Summat Creative present Speed of Light. A dark and empty shop front overtaken by two fantasy cyclists challenge the crowd to make a pledge for a sustainable future.

With such a rich range of uniquely Bradford experiences to see and capture, there's an opportunity for Bradford residents to experience light art during the darker months.

Jo Quinton-Tulloch, Director of the National Science and Media Museum said: “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s BD:is LIT. This festival is a true celebration of the creativity and innovation on offer here in the Bradford district and it provides a fantastic opportunity to see the district’s unique venues, iconic buildings, and landscapes quite literally in a whole new light.”

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “This is a fantastic way to celebrate the Bonfire Night weekend, lighting up the district with unique and fun activities and installations for all the family to enjoy. Don’t miss out!”

Guides, routes and event information can be found on the Visit Bradford website and BD:is LIT social media pages.

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